The mayoral candidates met Thursday night in their first debate in the runoff election. Despite Eric Garcetti’s and Wendy Greuel’s acrimony in recent days, the two Democrats largely struck a sunny tone in the hourlong face-off televised by KABC-TV.
To boost their bids, Garcetti cited his work on district revitalization and balancing the city’s budget, while Greuel highlighted her resume, including her work at her family's business, at DreamWorks and as an elected official.
Thursday also brought the first financial disclosure requirement in the runoff. Greuel reported raising more than $1.1 million since the March 5 primary and spending nearly $489,000. Garcetti raised nearly $1.3 million and spent $166,000. Both candidates received $800,000 in city matching funds. Garcetti claimed an edge in available funds -- he reported having $500,000 more in cash-on-hand than Greuel.
FULL COVERAGE: L.A.'s race for mayor
Earlier in the day, Greuel laid out her plans to improve the city's public schools, calling for tougher evaluations of teachers and principals, while Garcetti trumpeted endorsements from a handful of black leaders.
The moves were a reaction to shifting dynamics in the race in recent days, notably termed-out Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa blasting both candidates earlier in the week for failing to prioritize fixing the city’s schools.
Greuel responded Wednesday by challenging Garcetti to a debate -- in two hours. The Garcetti campaign called the move a stunt. An official with the charter school where Greuel issued her challenge called out the city controller for politicizing her high school. That move would have likely had more credence if the official had not donated to Garcetti’s campaign.
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